“Aruna called me and said that she was doing book signings and wanted to meet me in person. She is the person who sent me her first book, which needed a lot of editing, but we never met in person. We coauthored that book, and it went well, but only on the fourth book did we video chat regularly. Well, after a lot of back and forth, I could not say no.
I could not go out dressed in my usual latex, and, well, I took it all off for the first time in a long time. All my underwear felt scratchy, and ehh, well, that is neither here not there. I tried to walk in my last pair of heeled boots, but I could not, so I had to wear my toe boots. But aside from this, I wore two pairs of thick tights to cover my stick legs. I doubled up and wore two long sweaters to mask my lack of breasts and broad shoulders. Except for my toe boots, oh, and a scarf over my stubbly hairs, all was in a dull grey to make me not stand out.
Anyway, I arrived ahead of time, and Aruna was already waiting for me, chatting with the doormen. She saw me, grabbed my arm, and dragged me past a long line of people and into the nightclub. Unfortunately, I can’t remember Aruna’s last name or the name of the bar, or the day and time, losing my memories. But I do remember Aruna, not her face but everything else.
She is an Indian beauty, sensual and alluring, and everyone looked at her and did not notice me, thankfully. It is not that she had big boobs or anything like that, but she just exuded sensuality. She was like a princess of the night, oh, and I recall that Aruna means princess of the night. Inside, we found a spot to sit, and as soon as we settled, several men and women hovered around us, well around Aruna. It looked like she was used to people buying drinks for her because she accepted them without a second thought. Thankfully, hardly anyone noticed me with Aruna, so it was kinda good.
I was okay with Aruna up and about dancing most of the time as we could not talk anyway. But I was utterly bored with the place and scene, and with the deafening music, I could not speak with anyone. Also, there were just too many people. Past midnight, I found myself squeezed in between smelly, sweaty bodies. Used to the muted sounds through my latex hooding, I was ready to go, even eager to escape, but I could not leave Aruna alone, and I could not find her to tell her that I wanted to go. So it became the most prolonged and loudest night in memory.
I found the quietest visible seat in the place so that Aruna could see me. I kept to myself and hardly noticed the people sitting next to me except for one persistent man. He felt slimy and creepy, so I just ignored him when he offered me a drink. He was stubborn, but I just moved away to another spot.
A while later, still trying to find Aruna, I returned to where I sat before, where a nervous girl sat also looking out of place. I noticed her because she was scantily clad, only in a strapless shift dress, barefooted, and naught else. She just looked so out of place, well, just like I felt. I can’t say how long I sat there, maybe two drinks, and then I woke up strapped to the X-cross.
Aside from the man, and possibly the same girl that sat next to me, the locker, the work-horse contraption where he strapped the girl into. I can’t say if it was a shed, room, or basement, what was on the floor or ceiling, or what time of day it was. All that is just not there. ”
Cathenne asked, “Do you think Aruna is involved? I mean, how could she leave you alone like that. Did she report you missing or anything?”
Mouse answered, “I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t even know if she is still alive. All I can touch is my latex clothing, but once I do, it becomes insubstantial, well, except for you when you wear it. I am not even sure if I ever spoke to anyone in this house as to you, or did I frightened them away with my nightmare. Cathenne, this is all hopeless.”
Taking Mouse’s hands, Cathenne reassured, “Well, not really. Is your laptop in the safe room, or was it cleared out with the rest of your belongings?”
Mouse uttered, “Oh.”
Cathenne pushed the power button, and the laptop fired up. On top was the app with a half-finished book, and underneath was the email app with one hundred seventy-nine emails, all from Aruna. Reading through them, Aruna wrote how she reported Mouse missing, about the police, investigated, s sort of journal, but there was nothing to go on.
All they had was that Mouna Lisa Kaspersky was reported missing, then listed as dead. Her family was not interested in the house, and so the selling cycle went on. For a good year, Aruna kept writing with decreasing frequency. The final message from Aruna was, ‘Sorry.’
Cathenne asked, “Shall I write to her?”
Mouse asked, “Were they after Aruna, not me? I mean, who in the right mind would choose me over Aruna?”
Cathenne answered, “Me for one.”
Mouse argued, “But seriously Cathenne, compared to Aruna, I am a nobody. Why would anyone want me... Oh, I see. Everyone is looking at the breathtaking Aruna, and no one noticed when someone grabs the mousy girl and out the back door. Oh, a Volvo, I remember a Volvo.”
Cathenne looked decided, “Alright, girlfriend, first things first. I have to go shopping for two. I usually do not eat this much, so perhaps I am eating for both of us. Can we try going out together? I mean, there is a connection between us, and maybe this changes things?”
Mouse argued, “Oh, I can’t. I went out once and look what happened; I am a ghost! No, you go, and I will wait for you.”
Cathenne countered, “No, Mouse. I will not go without you. I am afraid for you and you losing more of yourself without me. It took so long to get you back when you reappeared, and that frightened the Buddha out of me. Aside, we will be together, and if you vanish, I will rush back and hold you, then order food online.” Mouse tensed, then relaxed, then nodded.
Cathenne smiled, then asked, “Would you want me to go like this?”
Mouse examined Cathenne’s face a moment then, with a shy smile, “I would prefer to keep you to myself. Perhaps replace the sheath dress with your leather coverall? I also have a nice warm furlined jacket that would just look so much better with you in it.”
Cathenne felt Mouse’s hesitant excitement and pleasure. Then, walking together, hand in hand, Cathenne asked, “What about my latex hood?”
An intense spike of exhilaration hit Cathenne as Mouse answered, “I think I have something for that too...”